The all-ages market begins November 26, Black Friday, and leads into First Night Hartford. Small businesses will be activating the spaces along Pratt Street and Trumbull Street during the 23-day market. More than 100 local creatives, retailers, makers, craftspeople, and food trucks are expected to participate. They’ll be set up in vacant storefronts or in pop-up booths and kiosks.
“The holiday market concept creates a more streamlined approach to have these small businesses and their products widely accessible for folks looking to shop locally and shop small this holiday season,” explains Joshua Jenkins, Partner at Breakfast Lunch & Dinner (BL&D), which is hosting Winterfair.
Celebrating the Season – Hartford Style
Momentum on Pratt Street has been building and holiday excitement is already in the air.
“We’ve seen Pratt Street coming alive over the past few months. This Winterfair initiative is a perfect way to extend energy and a perfect way to celebrate the season,” emphasized Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin during a press event announcing Winterfair.
“It’s an extension of the city’s Winterfest. You can go there and ice skate and come here and shop,” the mayor encouraged. “Discover a local business you didn’t know about, patronize your favorite small business you already love, and, most importantly, spread the word about the great local options to get holiday gifts for the ones you love.”
The Gift of Community
Initiatives like Winterfest and Winterfair require the community’s support and collaboration from many local organizations. For example, special events and theme weekends during the six-week event will spotlight local talents and businesses and feature recent graduates of the Floor-Plan Retail Incubator program, which was a partnership with BL&D and reSET.
“We’re all rethinking how we gather right now and what retail looks like and how we can come back together. We’ve been thrilled to play a part in helping our small businesses be set up for success,” noted reSET Executive Director Sarah Bodley at the press event.
“This is a great way for these businesses to get started and to hear and feel the community rally around them really goes a long way,” she added.
“This initiative is a great example of our community and local organizations coming together to ultimately support our community,” says Hartford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julio Concepción. “We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to showcase our local small business owners this holiday season—and what better place than Pratt Street?”